…as court acquits him
on charge of blocking traffic
magistrate Patience Madondo today, September 09, acquitted MDC Alliance national organising
secretary Godfrey Kurauone on a charge of obstructing free movement of traffic.
The magistrate declared
Kurauone, who languished in remand prison for 42 days, not guilty after
indicating that the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it
was indeed Kurauone whom they claimed to have seen blocking roads and burning
tyres in Mashava on July 31.
She said evidence of the
two State witnesses was on some instances inconsistent, with one of them failing
to assert categorically the colour of the jacket that he claimed he saw
Kurauone wearing on the alleged crime scene.
She said the State’s
submissions were further complicated by the fact it had neglected to check at
Kurauone’s house in Masvingo the moment they supposedly saw him in Mashava to
help dispel possibilities of mistaken identities.
Before his acquittal,
Kurauone had been denied bail first by the same court and then by the High
Court on August 13.
When Kurauone was arrested, he was out on bail on charges of
undermining the authority of the President and the case is still pending before
In the evening of July 31, Kurauone, in the company of his
lawyer Martin Mureri, reported to the Law and Order Section of Masvingo Central
Police Station as part of his bail conditions and that is when he was detained.
“We had always known that our client was innocent and was
facing fabricated charges as a way of fixing him for political reasons. The
State had no case and they knew it form the very beginning,” said Mureri, who
worked with instructions from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Kurauone, who is also
councillor for Masvingo Urban Ward 4, will go back to court on September 24 for
continuation of his trial on undermining the authority of the President.